Consoles must embrace free-to-play or face extinction, says Nexon boss

Tuesday, 21 August 2012 05:01 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Nexon America CEO Daniel Kim has said consoles will “go the way of the dinosaurs” if manufacturers ignore the free-to-play market.

Nexon makes a number of popular MMOs including Maple Story and Combat Arms, and corners a significant portion of the Asian and US free-to-play dollar – something beyond the reach of current consoles, Kim told GamesIndustry.

“Console developers are starting to realise that as well, that unless they make accommodations or think about changing their own business model they’re going to quickly go the way of the dinosaurs,” he said.

“The business model it really makes sense. It’s really hard to beat free-to-play as an offering,” he added.

“The console guys are starting to realise that, but they also have a challenge in that they have a vested interest in an existing business model of packages. I know it’s tough for them to just cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to say ‘OK, we’re going to go free-to-play and make our bed here’ because that’s going to piss off a lot of people who they already have an existing business relationship with.”

Kim sympathised with the challenge hardware manufacturers are facing but said that unless they make “that leap of faith” then there’s no way for companies to continue to grow.

You know who else likened platform holders to dinosaurs? Codemasters co-founder David Darling. But he commissioned a sweet illustration of the iPhone as an asteroid smashing into Wiiatops and Xboxasuarus Rex.